Spanish trap star Fusa Nocta on her stellar Mad Cool festival set and the power of ‘The X Factor’

She made her name on the talent show, and has nothing but praise for it

Spanish trap star Fusa Nocta received a hero’s welcome at the Consequence of Sound Stage at Madrid’s Mad Cool festival, her bassy trap bangers, from the booming ‘Khaleesi’ to slinky feminist anthem ‘No Gyals’, inciting a sense of hysteria during her early evening set. At one point, a backing dancer draped a white bag over her head, a striking image of which she told us in her interview: “It’s nice to make people feel things… I wanted to express that you’re inside my head, inside my feeling and thoughts.” Much of Fusa’s music deals with breaking free of societal constraints, often expressed in similarly provocative ways.

Perhaps surprisingly, given her anti-authoritarian stance, she made her name on the Spanish version of The X Factor, which returned lasted year after a decade-long hiatus. The X Factor graduates made good are often reticent about reflecting on the experience, yet Fusa is full of praise for the TV institution. “That changed absolutely everything,” she says. “Before that I was singing for a hobby, trying to do it and then The X Factor was life-changing. It was strange because you don’t really see trap artists on TV and when I came to the auditions, I thought, ‘I’m not going to pass’ But it was really cool because they did respect everything I wanted to do. I didn’t have to change my style.”

In the UK, the show is perhaps often seen as something of a pop factory line, but the Spanish version is different, says Fusa: “We have a lot of talent shows in Spain and on other shows they make similar artists, which is OK, but it’s great that [The X Factor] respected what I wanted to do. Last year they had trap and guitar groups, which is awesome.”

So Spain’s The X Factor more forward-thinking than ours, perhaps, and Fusa’s similarly open-minded when it comes to changing the rules of the game. “I’m working on singles…” she says, when pressed on the possibility of a debut album. “With this type of music, things don’t really work like that [with a traditional album cycle]. You release an album and two months later people [perhaps won’t pay so much attention]. But in the trap world, [by releasing individual singles] you can keep moving it more.” Whatever comes next, she’ll do it her own way, and receive a hero’s welcome when it happens.